Dangerous driver avoided prison by ‘skin of his teeth’ after Bassetlaw police chase

A dangerous driver's impressive work ethic was nearly rewarded with a prison sentence after he was chased by police in Bassetlaw, a court has heard.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 3:26 pm

DIsqualified Daniel Stafford was spotted behind the wheel of a black VW Passat in Retford, at 10.20am, on March 29, 2019.

Prosecutor Kevin Jones said officers got within 50 metres of the vehicle, which was locked in traffic, before Stafford drove over a kerb divider.

When he was unable to go any further forward he reversed into a pedestrian island and reached speeds of more than 65 mph on Moorgate.

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He overtook on a hill and cut across waiting traffic at a built-up junction before the pursuit was aborted.

Police found no trace of him at his home address and he was finally tracked down and arrested at the Commodore hotel, in Nottingham, more than two months later, on June 5.

He has ten previous convictions for 16 offences, but nothing of a similar nature, Mr Jones said.

Errol Ballentyne, mitigating, said Stafford has already served the equivalent of a 16 month prison sentence because he has been subject to an electronically-monitored curfew for 447 days.

He said the defendant displayed "refreshing honesty" when interviewed by probation officers and was "determined to make good what he has done wrong thus far."

His current employers were impressed by his work ethic, Mr Ballentyne said, but that work ethic got him into trouble in the first place as he was driving for work purposes after receiving a 12-month ban, in August 2018.

Stafford, 27, of Lincoln Red Close, Retford, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance and while disqualified, on the day of a trial, in November 2021.

On Friday, Judge John Sampson told him he had amassed many convictions and had so far only avoided custody by the skin of his teeth.

"Had you been before the court earlier, you would be going to prison," he said.

He imposed an 18-month community order, with 100 hours of unpaid work, and 15 rehabilitation days to improve his thinking skills.

Stafford was ordered to pay £1,000 court costs within six months. He was banned for 18 months and must take an extended re-test.